This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
22 • FEATURE: SWEDEN


LOUIS REPS STOCKHOLM WHISKY ENTHUSIASTS GROUP


The laconic Louis Reps embodies both sides of Sweden’s love of malt whisky. A Society member of good standing, he has enjoyed drinking and collecting whisky since long before it became fashionable to do so. But he is also a voracious collector of what might be considered whisky ephemera. In the mid 1990s, he became fascinated with the beautiful Glenlochy distillery in Fort William, which fell silent in 1982 and has now been converted into flats. As well as collecting increasingly elusive and expensive bottles of Glenlochy, Louis has spent a decade contacting former employees and documenting every scrap of information he could track down, publishing everything on his website. In addition to being a member of the


Stockholm Whisky Enthusiasts club, Louis is president of the Spirit Safe Collectors Society. A genuine spirit safe, rescued from scrapping, takes pride of place in his living room.


STEFFO TÖRNQVIST WHISKY WRITER


Writer, whisky expert and presenter of Sweden’s popular TV4 breakfast show, Steffo has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to single malt appreciation in Sweden. When researching production for his own line of whisky-infused cheese, Steffo went straight to the English town of Cheddar and found a creamery of unimpeachable provenance and quality. However, after seeing the craftsmanship put into the cheese itself, he was “horrified” when they went to add “a cheap


blended whisky” for flavour. He fled the building, only to return an hour later with a car full of his favourite single malts and clear instructions as to how they should be used. He believes Sweden needs to find its own whisky identity. “Sweden can’t be Scotland and it’s impossible to have very old whisky when you’ve only been making it for 10 years! The new Swedish distillers are doing the smart thing by creating new casks with a local flavour profile and saying ‘this is special because it’s Swedish’. And they’re doing it very well, I think; it’s often too young – but they’re heading in absolutely the right direction.”


The Akkurat bar was that night playing


host to the Stockholm Whisky Enthusiasts Group, one of many such clubs in Sweden. With a membership totalling around 100 (it was in the low 30s just two years ago), the group has been going for around five years and attracts some of the biggest whisky names in Scotland to host tastings. Peter Carlsson, one of the group’s


founding members, says: “The great thing about groups like this is that we weren’t already friends first, who just started drinking whisky together. We were brought together by our shared interest and have become friends through that. Whisky has a very broad appeal in Sweden, so it’s a good way to meet many different types of people.”


THE SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY


Luis Reps chips in: “This club is not the most extreme in Sweden. We do have several enthusiasts who are really deep into this, and who will go very far to learn. But for most of us, it’s just a great way to try many different bottlings and learn from visiting experts. “At the same time, you need to


have these fanatics who can get their hands on the very rare bottlings. Our chairman once bought an opened bottle of a 1974 Laphroaig from a bar in Belgium. A friend of his saw it there, so he drove down with a pocket-full of money and bought it at the bar price!” My next port of call was Stockholm’s


old town, Gamla Stan, which is essentially an island in the centre of the archipelago


upon which modern Stockholm is built. Its tall buildings and narrow, winding, criss-cross streets may be disorienting, but getting lost is an integral part of its charm. And, with several fine whiskies still coursing through my veins, I quickly became quite heroically lost. After a full hour of meandering, I finally


arrived at Glenfiddich Whisky Warehouse No.68 (soon to be renamed the Ardbeg Whisky Warehouse); a long, stylish bar, offering a cask of the eponymous dram and a decent selection of other malts. In no time, I was deep in conversation


with Jim, Marcus and Patrik, three friends who had dropped in for a quick dram after work. All three recounted tales of visits to Islay before joining me in an


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36